Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2


Viewed – 02 May 2017  Cinema

The first movie was my favourite of 2014, so the prospect of a sequel was very exciting.  This time around we find the unorthodox gang of heroes causing strife with a race of beings after Rocket the Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper) gets a little light-fingered with some batteries.  However following a space battle that could cause the guardian’s lives to end abruptly, a mysterious stranger saves the day.  Turns out Star Lord (Chris Pratt) has a Dad who just so happens to be a pretty powerful guy himself, played with charismatic flair by the ever dependable Kurt Russell.

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This fills in a few gaps left over from the last movie, especially the question surrounding Chris Pratt’s father and it was great being back in the company of these very likable characters again.  The dialogue is especially sharp throughout, something that was a highlight of the last movie and the jokes & references come thick and fast to make this a ton of fun.  Pratt’s character constantly makes quips about eighties pop-culture such as TV shows like Cheers and characters such as Skelator and Pac-Man, and makes him a very relatable and refreshing presence in this sort of movie.  I was also glad to see that, despite the trailers, Baby Groot isn’t over-used but damn is he cute and very funny every second he’s on screen.

Kurt RussellThe soundtrack, another highlight last time around isn’t quite as memorable (apart from a great use of Mister Blue Sky by ELO) and a left-over side plot involving sisters Nebula (Karen Gillen) and Morgana (Zoe Saldana) felt unnecessary.  I also did not get much out of the gold-painted race that turn up at the beginning and chase after our heroes.  That being said Michael Rooker’s Yondu was again a joy and I’ve always liked the actor and we get some great moments with him here.  The same can be said for scene-stealing Dave Bautista as Drax.  Action generally is top-notch but the plot didn’t grab me as much or feel as layered this time, with the whole Kurt Russell’s planet sequence stopping the movie dead at one stage.

As it stands though this was a solid sequel and I can’t wait to see what comes next.  The Guardians of the Galaxy will return!

Verdict:  4 /5

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Top Ten 2014


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This has been one of the toughest end-of-year Top Ten’s I’ve ever come up with.  Although there were many good movies this year, there hasn’t (for me) been a clear winner, and well I’ve not managed to get around to some of the real big hitters like 12 Years A Slave or Boyhood, to name two.  However listed below is my final Ten of the year compiled from the best movies I watched and reviewed (for the first time) in 2014.  Note: I try and limit the contenders to movies released in the last two years.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

2. American Hustle

3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

4. The Wolf of Wall Street

5. Dallas Buyers Club

6. Gravity

7. Inside Llewyn Davis

8. Nightcrawler

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

10. Saving Mr Banks

Honourable mentions:  Gone Girl, The Raid 2 and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Guardians of the Galaxy


Viewed – 20 December 2014  online rental

Craig, take a breath, try not to be too gushy over this one.  Ok, calm restored!  This Marvel comic book adaptation has a human kid called Peter Quill who following the death of his cancer-stricken mother, is seemingly abducted by aliens – jump forward 26 years and he’s become a bounty hunter calling himself star lord who tracks down valuable items for the highest price.  On one such mission he steals a sacred orb and soon a powerful warlord is on his heels as the orb carries with it great power.  Yet star lord gets himself thrown in a high security prison after a ruckus on a neighbouring planet breaks out and before long he’s housed up with a rag tag group of outlaws – a green female assassin, a muscle-bound prisoner seeking revenge, a genetically engineered racoon (!) and a big tree / plant creature.  Not your typical heroes.

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After the usual plethora of sequels and comic book super hero movies that hit during the summer, this one flew for the most part under my radar, even though I always liked the look of it.  Now despite the fine job Marvel have done with the likes of Iron Man, Captain America etc. this is going in a different direction.  It has strong echoes of classic eighties genre piece Battle Beyond The Stars (remember that?) and for me felt a breath of fresh air in a summer that for a few years now has felt stale and stuck in a rut.  With a very sharp script, some great characters (and great actors to play them) and a stand out Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, this just seemed to keep me grinning throughout.  Add to this some great fights (the showdown between Zoe Saldana’s Gamora and Karen Gillan’s Nebula), flashy, exciting battles and several punch-the-air feel good moments (“you said it yourself bitch, we’re the guardians of the galaxy”) – this just surprised, impressed and won me over again and again.  Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star Lord is brilliant, has a Hans Solo lovable swagger and some of the movie’s best lines and jokes (dance off man!), but the character of Groot (sort of voiced by Vin Diesel) is also a show-stealer.

I simply can’t praise this one enough – it played with clichés like weapons, had a truly brilliant soundtrack that had no place being in this sort of movie (really, the end credits are ‘I Want You Back’ by the Jackson Five? – Genius!).  So hat’s off to Marvel and director James Gunn – this is one to be beaten.

Verdict:  5 /5

A xmas message


Well its upon us, that time of year again, and every year I am not in the mood, being a big grump, letting the things that have happened to me during the year cloud my thoughts and make me a miserable bah humbug.  Then like every year, there comes a time where it just hits me.  I was out doing some shopping this morning and just gathering some stuff, a birthday card here, a bag of cocktail sausages there, some drinks etc. etc..  Walking around the supermarket with Christmas music blaring in my ears and a couple of ol’ favourites come on – Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses and Fairy Tale of New York by The Pogues.  Yeah I’m feeling Christmassy.

That stuff I reported on a little while back about being depressed, was referencing losing / severing ties with someone I was very fond of (… I do wonder if she ever reads this). Well … thoughts of that still linger, but I know it’s the past – she is the past, and I really have to finally accept that, even if it was simply a friendship that I had wanted a lot more from.  I need to mend, move-the-fuck-on and well, get on with my life.

This blog is a portion of my life, it’s my comfort blanket and somewhere I can sometimes just bleed out my thoughts, even if more often than not I choose not to.  In recent months I think it’s a good idea though and get comfort and support from likes or the occasional comment – and that’s no matter the subject.  I’ll keep it mainly movies and games based, but don’t be surprised if I have a self-reflective moan occasionally along the way.

For the blog I am trying to squeeze in those last few movies before the end of the year.  I keep getting recommended Angelina Jolie’s Malificent and well, I will surely see Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend.  Not sure about much else, what with Christmas day on the horizon and family visiting etc., as well as work in between (sob).  I also might do an impressions on Assassin’s Creed Unity, probably one of the most interesting and immediately next-gen games I have played so far.

So wishing all my readers, occasional visitors, regular commenters and anyone else a wonderful festive time. I’ll report back on how my Christmas day turns out, what prezzies I’ve had and what I’m up to on the day itself, and you can look out for a Top Ten of my movie viewing year on New Years Eve as always.

I’ll leave you with this brilliant tune: